Talk:Sarah Jane Brown

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Lead section[edit]

If you are concerned about the lead section, Born2cycle, I am starting a newer discussion. The titling goes over there, not here. If the concern is notability, let's discuss it. --This is George Ho actually (Talk) 00:37, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Good point. Okay, I've moved my question from there to here. --В²C 01:15, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Once and for all: what is wrong with Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon Brown)?

My update to the intro, putting what she is notable for first, being the wife of Gordon Brown, was just reverted[1]. Above, people are opposing "wife of", declaring it to be sexist or reducing her to chattel, without explaining how or why. And we have plenty of similar articles about people notably mostly for their marriage to someone more notable all of which refer to the subject as being "husband of" or "wife of" in the intro if not the title disambiguation:



  • Denis Thatcher "was the husband of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher."
  • Pat Nixon "was the wife of Richard Nixon, ..."
  • Betty Ford "as First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977, as the wife of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford"
  • Rosalynn Carter "is the wife of the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, ..."
  • Nancy Reagan "was an American actress, and the wife of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan"
  • Barbara Bush "is the wife of George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, ..."
  • Richard Blum, "is an American investment banker. He is the husband of United States Senator from California Dianne Feinstein."

Now, Sarah Brown and Gordon Brown were married in 2000. His WP page was created in January of 2002. Hers was created five years later in 2007 just before he became prime minister. The opening sentence of that initial article reads, "Sarah Macaulay (born October 1963) is the wife of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and possible future Prime Minister, Gordon Brown." Clearly, what made her notable was being the spouse of Gordon Brown. I don't see how that has changed.

So what is wrong with disambiguating her with the fact that makes her notable, or noting that fact prominently in the introduction, just like we do for all other subjects notably mostly for being spouses of more notable people? --В²C 01:29, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Umm.... maybe we should not compare historical figures to living persons. Let's find someone else still living disambiguated as "wife of" or "husband of". Priscilla Chan (philanthropist) should be a good example of discouraging "wife of"... right? George Ho (talk) 01:35, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Antiquated practice, now regarded as sexist, also at odds with NOTINHERITED. Also, the title is not the same as the lede sentence. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:18, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
George Ho, many of the first lady examples I provided above are still alive. Now I have yet to find an example using "spouse of" for a live person as disambiguation, but that's because it's a rather unusual category: the person has to be primarily notable for whom they married and they have to have an ambiguous name. SmokeyJoe, it's an antiquated practice? Regarded as sexist? By whom? Every news article I can find about her refers to her as Gordon Brown's wife. Maybe there are exceptions, but certainly not enough to support the position that doing so is antiquated or broadly considered sexist by reliable sources. Correct me if I'm wrong, please. --В²C 02:44, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Your insistence for proof that this is sexist borders on kookery. "Referred to", or "reported as" is not the same as "titled as". An antiquated, but ongoing example is Princess Michael of Kent, but in modern time we do not do Princess William of Wales. The wife of John Smith used to be Mrs John Smith, but that is no longer considered acceptable by most. I am sure this is sourceable in the field of modern sociocultural anthropology. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:56, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Isn't naming something "sexist" some sort of political correctness? George Ho (talk) 03:22, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Does "politically correct" mean "bad"? Some affirmative action overreaches, wikt:politically correct has acquired a pejorative status, weirdly complicated. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:11, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Not exactly, but certain people don't like being "corrected" or adjusted to conform to one group or another. --George Ho (talk) 04:40, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Oh, baloney, SmokeyJoe. Parenthetic disambiguation as qualifier is not what someone is "titled as". Just because we qualify another Sarah Brown as "artist's model" doesn't mean she is "titled as" "artist's model" Sarah Brown (artists' model). Still waiting for an actual source rather than a vague reference to a possibility. --В²C 03:26, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, your kooky titling theories, you'll hold onto them to you last breath, no matter what. The title is that heading 1 big text at the top of the page. The most prominent most important text of any article. The text that everyone will read, and many will only read. If the title includes a parenthetical qualifier, the parenthetical qualifier is part of the title. Putting in the title that someone is the wife of another is antiquated, common in antiquity, no longer our custom. You want me to find scholarly sources for that? No, its your interest, you go look, the repudiation of "wife of Gordon Brown" is a settled question, and you are working to further derail an already non-ideal RM discussion. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:11, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I request this section be hatted as disruption, it is disruptive to the RM discussion, it is backhandedly re-arguing a settled question, it is not in support of improving the article. It belongs nowhere more prominent than as another User:Born2cycle useressay. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:14, 8 December 2016 (UTC) Withdraw all that, overreaction, misinterpretation of intent, not disruptive now that it is moved from the RM section. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:03, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Going ad hominem? So soon? Smh. Anyway, nothing of the sort is "settled". Still waiting for some kind of backup to your claims. Here are some relevant titles all refering to her as his wife from a variety of sources:

  • Sarah Brown, wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, appointed director of Harrods [2]
  • Sarah Brown wife of Gordon Brown at Destiny Child Center Calabar [3]
  • Sarah Brown In LA: Wife Of Former British Prime Minister On How She Seized ‘Wife Of’ Role [4]
  • Sarah Brown Wife Of Gordon Brown Pictures and Images [5]
  • Corrie’s Kym Marsh reveals Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah sent her a letter after tragic death of premature son Archie [6]
  • Gordon Brown thanks 'incredible' wife Sarah as he stands down as MP [7]
  • Sarah Brown, wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to receive honorary degree from Open University at Edinburgh's Usher Hall [8]

I can go on. And on. And on. But the point should be obvious: the claim that it is somehow inappropriate due to it being sexist or anything else to refer to Sarah Brown as Gordon Brown's wife in a title is preposterous, and not supported by common usage in sources. You've got no answer to my question beyond empty claims and ad hominem attacks. No wonder you want to close this section. Pathetic. --В²C 06:58, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

  • Oh dear. I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you the points on links 1, 2, 3, 5 & 7. They really are titles, I'm shocked. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:21, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
    • At any rate, my primary concern in this section is the introduction to the article. Your objection, such as it is, appears to be limited to the context of titles. So is there any objection to identifying her first as Gordon Brown's wife in the introduction on the grounds that this is what she is notable for? --В²C 17:04, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
      • I would object to that. See Wikipedia:Writing about women#Defining women by their relationships. SarahSV (talk) 17:11, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
        • I understand the viewpoint expressed in that essay. But the fact remains that SB is primarily notable for being the wife of Gordon Brown. In our sexist world it's more likely for a woman to be notable due to her spouse than vice versa, but a fact being lamentable does not make it any less of a fact. When a man is notable primarily for being the spouse of a more notable wife, we reflect that in the introduction (see examples above), and I'm sure we would in the disambiguation parenthetic remark if disambiguation for such a person were needed. Why should we treat female subjects of articles differently from male subjects? --В²C 19:02, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
          • None of the titles of the news sources you cite are biographies, let alone encyclopedic biographies, and history teaches something similar to the form of Mrs. Gordon Brown, as you advocate is not generally the way to disambiguate for a woman's biography, Eleanor is not Mrs./Queen Henry II, she is Eleanor of Aquitaine. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:59, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
  • The newspapers B2C links, use the "wife of" construction in titles for their stories. Perhaps the newspapers are sexist and anachronistic. Perhaps they are not reliable, scholarly or reputable. Or perhaps some Wikipedians are trying to lead, rather than follow, the sources. In principle, Wikipedia should follow its sources.
    The line "married to" or "wife of" is in the lede, so the issue addressed here must be of the order of the sentence. It is last, B2C tried putting it first. Advice from WP:LEDE and MOS:INTRO doesn't seem to address the order of lede points. I'd have assumed chronological ordering of the main points of notability.
    The one thing that does strike me is that the sentence construction "She is married to the former ..." implies that the marriage was to a former PM, whereas she was married to a man who became PM. 24 June 2007, this page read:

    Sarah Brown née Macaulay (born October 1963) is the wife of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, leader of the Labour party and soon to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown. She was also a founding partner of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications.

    I think it would be better to write that she was the spouse of a serving PM, GB, 2007-2010. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:25, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Here's what's wrong with it: this is the 21st Century and women are no longer chattels of their husbands. Wait, that was exactly the problem with it last time, hence the consistent rejection of that title for at least two years now. So: this is WP:IDHT territory. The fact that you don't accept that it's offensive does not make it any less the case that enough people do think it offensive, that you won't get consensus for it. Guy (Help!) 15:07, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
    • I'm looking for basis in reliable sources for the claim that "wife of ..." is sexist, assumes female spouses are chattel, etc. Can you help? Thanks. I mean besides #62 on this dailywire "101 Things Feminists Say Are Sexist". --В²C 23:52, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
      • Sexism and stupidity are not matters that can be evaluated by a formula—people are either aware of cultural norms or they're not. Many people have empathy and an understanding of the modern world, while some don't. Some editors would understand that for whatever reason their opinion is out of step and would drop a matter rather than repeatedly relitigating it, while some wouldn't. Johnuniq (talk) 00:49, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
        • There is evidence of true cultural norms among reliable sources. People discuss it. They write about it. In reliable unbiased sources. They even make jokes about it. Here is a great bit on "black lives matter" (trust me). I'm having trouble finding such sources about this supposed cultural norm (that "wife of ..." is sexist or denotes chattel). I even find evidence to the contraryin usage in other WP articles. Only here on the talk page of this article, and one essay that stems from discussion here, plus some anti-feminist blogs, like the one I just cited above, is there mention of it that I can find. But I might be missing something - hence my request for help. --В²C 01:18, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

(de-indent) To the extent that this is a serious request for aid: you will find no such sources. Not because everyone else here is crazy, but because you are phrasing the argument as a straw man. Not even the most ardent feminist will argue that factual statements like "X is the spouse of Y" are inherently a problem. The 'problem' is one of emphasis. The following intros all offer equivalent (wholly made-up) information, but change the emphasis:

  • Lord Norton Pompington III, Duke of Evenshire, was an Anglo-Irish noble. He married Lady Amelia Covington and had 5 children, of which his eldest, Robert, succeeded him as Duke. He would have been 67th in line for the throne had his maternal grandfather not been disinherited. He served in the British navy previously. Pompington was a convert to Methodism.
  • Norton Pompington was a Commander of the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. He served with distinction on the frigate Invincible and defeated a Spanish ship near Buenos Aires in 1803. After his career was over, he was invested with a Dukedom at the age of 68, which he would pass to his eldest son Robert 5 years later, the son of his union with Amelia Covington.
  • Norton Pompington was the husband of famed Welsh lay preacher Amelia Covington. Covington wrote a treatise on Methodism with him after their marriage called Reflections on the Soul, and her poetry was called 'touching' by several reviewers at the time. Pompington bought a commission in the Navy where he served for several years, and he and his wife were raised to Duke and Duchess late in their life.

Any one of these intros might be correct, depending on what exactly was really notable here (the military career? his time as a noble? his spiritual life?). However, the third reads a little grating, because it's talking about somebody else's achievements first. It is possible to recognize this fact without having it dominate everything else. SnowFire (talk) 06:19, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

If there are three things one can say about somebody, say A, B and C, and only one of them is why the person is notable (they would not be notable with just the other two things), shouldn't that be where the emphasis should be, even if the one thing is a relationship to a more notable person? I mean, if the relationship is why that person is notable, then shouldn't that relationship be the emphasis? --В²C 23:49, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
That is precisely what you are being told: no, it shouldn't be. Nobody really cares about the Kenyan economist Barack Obama Sr., but that's what he was, and that is correctly what he is introduced as. People should be introduced on their own merits, not by marriage or kin, unless that is truly all that is known about a person (certain ancient biographies), or sometimes in the case of hereditary nobility (which are their own special case, where lineage actually can be incredibly important.) SnowFire (talk) 21:50, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
That's bizarre. Precisely because nobody really cares about the Kenyan economist, he should be introduced as Obama's father. After all, that's why he's notable. If I'm at a party where people know my wife, and I introduce myself as her husband, because that's why I'm there, and that gives them context about who I am and why I'm there. Then, in later discussion, I might mention my occupation, other interests, family history, etc. This is normal. Intentionally avoiding mentioning the relationship that makes a person notable in their introduction (or disambiguation information) makes no sense. Anyway, this shows the issue is not sexist or has anything to do with anyone being perceived as chattel. --В²C 17:07, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
B2C, having your own opinion is fine and wonderful. You are expected, however, to understand the position of others. The sexism angle is because this issue - which I carefully used non "wife" examples of above - occurs far far far more with biographies of women than of men. ('The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.') Now if you think that this issue isn't actually a problem. fine, but for people who DO think it's a problem, then the sexism angle is obvious. You asked for help above. I've nicely explained this for you. Please drop the stick and stop attacking straw men. SnowFire (talk) 18:50, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, you've helped me understand. Presumably due to historical systemic sexism women are more likely than men to be notable for their relationships, so identifying them accordingly probably appears sexist. But that doesn't mean it really is sexist, and the "solution" is artificial. Whether we identify Barack Sr primarily as an economist or Sarah Brown primarily as a charity worker it smacks of WP:Original research since reliable sources don't do that. No idea what straw men you think I'm attacking. --В²C 23:05, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Nothing. Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon Brown) is clearly the correct title. That's what she's known for. We are not here to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS, and anyway we would always do the same for the husband of a female leader so it's not in any way sexist. If Philip May wasn't at the base name, I would certainly support him being Philip May (husband of Theresa May) rather than anything else. The current title of this article fails almost all our naming criteria, it's not recognizable, it's not her common name... nothing really. We should just be sensible and stop with the false offence taking.  — Amakuru (talk) 09:10, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
Amakuru, I assume you meant "RfC" thread, which is below, right? George Ho (talk) 09:15, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I was responding to the specific question of whether there is "anything wrong" with using the disambiguator "wife of Gordon Brown". IMHO there isn't any valid reason why we shouldn't consider that as an option when deciding on this article title. Some people have seemingly ruled it out even if it was shown that that was the role she was most notable for.  — Amakuru (talk) 10:58, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
    My mistake, Amakuru. In any case, would you vote on the moratorium please, down below. George Ho (talk) 18:28, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

RfC: Proposing the third moratorium[edit]


There is no real guiding policy here, and given the amount of discussion spent on this, it isn't irrational to have such a moratorium, so it's really up to those participating. There is a numeric consensus to have a moratorium. Treating the comments to oppose the moratorium as requesting a 0 month moratorium and "any length" as a long one, I get a median value of 12 months. Which is also the length of the last one which seems reasonable. Let's go with January 3rd (after the winter break as some requested) before starting this again.

Also, I'd suggest next time around there be a list of choices and people !vote on those, giving a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice (or more I suppose). It may be that the current title is best one, but there are strong arguments against it and it's not clear it actually enjoys more support than the other choices. A "multiple-choice" ballot might bring something useful to the fore. This last part is simply a suggestion and not part of the formal close as while a similar idea was mentioned, there was no discussion to form a consensus around it. Hobit (talk) 19:33, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

After consensus again went against parenthetical disambiguation the sixth time, I am proposing to hold off another RM for now. If you favor the third moratorium, how long? --Relisting. George Ho (talk) 07:01, 17 January 2017 (UTC) --George Ho (talk) 17:13, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

  • Support. Slakr closed the last moratorium RfC as one year, so I support at least one year, preferably two. SarahSV (talk) 17:25, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose The close was against the specific proposal with the closer explicitly stating as such so the basis of this RFC is false. The previous moratorium expired some months back and there's only been one RM since then, not the instant repeated proposals, usually by the same user, that merit such a restraint. Banning discussion does not create a consensus. Timrollpickering 00:17, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
Tim, which time length of moratorium do you prefer? George Ho (talk) 09:51, 20 December 2016 (UTC) Scratch that. I misread your opposition. You can disregard this; no need to reply. George Ho (talk) 09:53, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Probably but complicated. I am a supporter of the admin closer of repeat contentious RMs holding a prerogative to declare a moratorium, where the default is 6 months for a consensus close, and 2 months for a non consensus close, counting from the date stamp of the close. This time, the closer User:Amakuru, didn't do that, but instead appears to imply permission for a relatively soon repeat RM for the highly contentious, previously repudiated, Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon Brown), a title supported by a few and strongly opposed by more than a few. My personal preference, Sarah Brown (née Macaulay), which I came up with through slowly reading all the archives, has not had a run. Assuming the standard moratorium of 6 months, am I supposed to jump in at 15:24, 9 June 2017 (UTC) to unilaterally lock in my preferred proposal for the next cycle? No, I recommend both a moratorium (default = 6 months) and a requirement that at least two editors openly agree to the detail of the next RM proposal, and that if the next RM is for a return to a previous title (eg Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon Brown)) then the proposals are required to thoroughly summarise the relevant past. I also wish to point to WP:TITLECHANGES, and to note that the current title is acceptable. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:42, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose, for many reasons. First, in general, I consistently oppose such moratoriums. Second, this is clearly an unresolved situation and probably needs a more sophisticated mechanism for finding a consensus favored solution. By "more sophisticated" I mean multiple choice, perhaps with weighting, rather than simply offering a single alternative to the current title. Finally, I've seen this many times before. Just because there is a history of unresolved RMs does not mean we can't or won't find a consensus solution with the next RM. It's a process that works, eventually, but not by impeding it with moratoriums... --В²C 23:31, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. Keep asking until you get what you want is not a good way to run Wikipedia. Guy (Help!) 17:08, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Guy, can you please describe the duration of the moratorium? More clarity would be helpful. George Ho (talk) 09:50, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
A year. This has become old. Guy (Help!) 14:17, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support for at least 6 months. This type of RM is the exact type of wallowing in process over function that drives away both new and existing editors. In this particular case, there is nothing that hasn't been discussed thoroughly, nay, exhaustively in recent discussions, and little is likely to change to alter the lack of consensus. Another RM in the near future highly unlikely to serve the purpose of the project in any substantive manner. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 18:37, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support for 12 months (but will settle for six). And I dont even like the current title... Only in death does duty end (talk) 09:42, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose - no reason to not try fixing this quarterly WP:COMMONNAME is a fairly important guideline that is applied fairly consistently across en.wp. The largest single voice in above discussion were those expressing support for WP:COMMONNAME. It won't hurt to have this discussion take place quarterly while the article sticks out like a sore thumb. In ictu oculi (talk) 11:56, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Or alternatively why can't Gordon Brown's wife simply change her name and start calling herself "Sarah Jane Brown", not doing so is highly inconsiderate of en.wikipedia. :) In ictu oculi (talk) 11:59, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support, prefer 13 months. I'd like for the next ritual beating of the dead horse to take place after the winter holidays. --Carnildo (talk) 02:31, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
  • unable to discern the question Elinruby (talk) 05:39, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Here goes, Elinruby: there have been too many RMs, especially before and after the title changed from "Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon Brown)" into "Sarah Jane Brown". Previous two moratoriums have been implemented per consensus, each after one failed RM. The third moratorium is based on another failed proposal to change to "Sarah Brown (charity director)". Every RM was initiated by a person who found "Sarah Jane Brown" the least commonly used name. However, there is no way to disambiguate this Sarah Brown, the spouse/wife of PM Gordon Brown. This moratorium is to hold off another RM for whatever time duration you prefer. Read all of it, especially links at the top of the page. George Ho (talk) 06:17, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks; I googled and was about to post something sarcastic but I don't think I actually understood the question. Now I have a stupid question but let me go read the material which will answer it maybe -- and attempt an actual answer, as someone who has also in the past posted a question too complicated to answer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Elinruby (talkcontribs) 06:36, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
So the question is whether to seek further comment or stop talking about this? Over and over again? I got about halfway down the page Elinruby (talk) 06:51, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
You can put it that way, or shall I say that no more RMs for... how long? George Ho (talk) 06:53, 21 December 2016 (UTC); Pinging Elinruby. 17:26, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
and the problem is that everytime there is a RM there is another round? Is that it? Half of me wants to just vote for whatever makes people stop talking about this. Then I get a grip, because, ok, (wife of) bothers me too. Frankly, I really don't care what we call this woman. Except I do hate (wife of). Have we established independent notability? What's her maiden name? I suppose more discussion is what we have to choose? Or am I still not understanding this? But I think you despair too soon. Look at Ugg boots and be thankful you aren't plagued with paid editors. Elinruby (talk) 03:06, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
sigh, she does seem to be independently notable. It would have solved this so nicely if we merged her into her husband's article. Has anyone considered (activist) or making her maiden name a middle name à la Hillary Rodham Clinton? Sarah Mackauley (sp?) Brown? I dunno. I have reached my current limit for taking this serioously and I am working on an attack piece on Dilma Rousseff so.... good luck with that. I may check back but I am out of constructive questions and ideas for the moment. Elinruby (talk) 03:38, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support 12 months moratorium. Using the name of a person for their article is not a problem and while it is fun for some to debate things indefinitely it is very tiring and unproductive for others. Johnuniq (talk) 04:59, 22 December 2016 (UTC)r
  • Oppose but... I am inclined to support a move to Sarah Brown (née Macaulay) as SmokeyJoe suggested. As such, I cannot support a moratorium here. However, I could support an agreement that any future RM should be nominated by 2 editors and the target title should be preferably one which has not been previously discussed. --Lemongirl942 (talk) 08:45, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Which would exclude your preferred title, as it was previously rejected. Actually I think that the first step would have to be an unambiguous consensus - bare minimum 2/3 majority - that there is actually a problem to fix. If people can persuade me there is a problem to fix, and that WP:ITABSOLUTELYMUSTBEPARENTHESES is now policy, then we can talk about the target, but given the absence of any consensus that there is even a problem to fix, discussing the relative merits of different several-times-rejected fixes to the (non-)problem, is moot. Guy (Help!) 15:35, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose moratorium. I saw some seeds of a possible consensus towards a "(wife of Gordon Brown)" disambiguator in the last move request (which I closed), so I don't see why we'd artificially cut off discussion around that possibility now. It may well be a better disambiguator than the little known middle name currently in place. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 21:58, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
That has been explicitly rejected as sexist. Guy (Help!) 11:46, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Relisting comment - Although I'm involved, I requested a closure at WP:ANRFC. However, seems that waiting for an admin would be a while. Meanwhile, I am relisting this, just in case, to continue discussion for the time being. George Ho (talk) 07:01, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, and of any length. Per Guy. --Mkativerata (talk) 05:39, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - wikipedia has much bigger problems. We should stop talking about this unless someone has a new and better idea. I dislike titles with parentheses in general, and although she would probably not have an article of this length if she were married to someone else, she does have independent projects and issues and news coverage so yes, it does seem a mite sexist to put "wife of" in the title as her single distinguishing feature. The lede of this page and the disambiguation page can deal with her marital status in the body of the text or list item. Oh and let's see -- I originally was here because I was summoned by bot, although I am here today because it was re-listed. Elinruby (talk) 23:21, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Taking the naming issue to the Mediation Committee in the future[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
As I see, closing this discussion that I started before something escalates further is the best way. I'll revisit the idea next year or so. George Ho (talk) 18:00, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

After moratoriums and RMs, I don't think this talk page would handle any more of further requests, especially after the latest failed RM and the ongoing proposal for moratorium. I think about taking this to the Wikipedia:Mediation Committee. Thoughts? --George Ho (talk) 23:58, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

Pinging Sarah, Guy, Eggishorn, SmokeyJoe, Timrollpickering, and... User:Born2cycle. --George Ho (talk) 00:05, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

The solution is for everyone to stop posting on this page unless they have something new and substantive to say. Mediation would just be another place for people to argue—Wikipedia should not belong to those who are prepared to post more walls-of-text than their opponents. Johnuniq (talk) 00:42, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
You can vote on the latest moratorium proposal, Johnuniq. --George Ho (talk) 01:01, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
More energy is spent by some on this page favoring suppressing discussion than for finding a consensus-supported solution. I won't name names, but it should be obvious. All this is very familiar - reminiscent of Yogurt, which has now had five years of stability and no controversy, though that was preceded by eight years of conflict which also was dominated by people trying to stifle discussion rather than find a solution. You can review the history for yourselves, here. Only when a serious concerted effort was made was consensus finally found. We have not had that here. What we know did not work there was efforts to convince everyone to just stop "wallowing in process". What we've had is a lot of people complaining about the process rather than engaging in the process. Sadly, now I'm doing that too, but, in my defense, I didn't start this sub-discussion. I'll just say again - I believe what we need here is a multiple choice RM, rather than a "keep current title" vs "one alternative" traditional RM. We've done plenty of the latter, and not once have we tried the former. I've seen it work for controversial titles before, and I believe it will here too. --В²C 02:07, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Sadly, Born2cycle, the consensus is close to agreeing the moratorium. If that happens, wait for another six months. If Mediation Committee can't stop further debates, a temporary moratorium might. George Ho (talk) 02:51, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
The consensus is that there is no consensus for a move to any of the titles thus far proposed (and in many cases a solid consensus against specific ones). That has been the case for a long time now. The disruption comes from those who refuse to accept this and are utterly determined to move it to one of a number of titles that have been consistently rejected. You don't get to keep asking the question ad infinitum and then complain that when people shout STFU already, they are repressing you. Guy (Help!) 14:20, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Why go to the MC now? What's the rush? The RfC is still (by normal standards) active and there's no reason not to wait for the outcome. Starting another iteration of this same issue on another noticeboard has every appearance of WP:FORUMSHOP. Let's let this play out first. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 03:12, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
All right, Eggishorn. I believe in what you say. I rescinded the MC consideration, I'll revisit the consideration when another RM fails, okay? --George Ho (talk) 03:24, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Sounds fair to me. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 04:47, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Actually, Eggishorn, I hope that the moratorium proposal succeeds. Otherwise, I'll reconsider MC. Could not strike out "another RM fails" part yet. --George Ho (talk) 23:34, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
  • The main problem with this is you are asking them to mediate between one group of users that keeps demanding the same thing, and another that is not persuaded. There are only two possible outcomes: move or not move. Not move has won out over a period of years. Demanding a compromise between not moving and moving is exactly the same as demanding a move. Guy (Help!) 14:23, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
We should be preventing too many RMs, Guy. (ghai or ghee, how do you pronounce it? In French, it's ghee.) However, come to think of it, if moratorium proposal fails, then maybe I may consider MedCom (not ArbCom, which imposed sanctions on edits related to title-related rules). Otherwise, I would see another failed proposal in a rush. Therefore, MedCom can help you people cooperate together and agree whether another RM is needed or not. If needed, then either one title or multiple titles are proposed. If not needed... then good luck. George Ho (talk) 19:05, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Are you opposed to trying a multiple-choice RM before escalating? If so, why? --В²C 21:10, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
...Just wait for the results of the moratorium proposal. Then, if failed, we'll talk about the future RM or MedCom. George Ho (talk) 21:14, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
I oppose a Borda count, or any other flawed vote count method. Instead, I'd suggest asking every participant to give every suggestion a score out of ten, and use that, by way of discussion, to shorten the list. I've seen this work OK where there are no clear leaders for preferred title. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:01, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
To shorten the list? I'd prefer to avoid a 2-phase system. We should be able to determine the consensus in a single survey. Borda isn't perfect, but for something this non-serious it should work well enough. What if we had two parts? In Part 1 each participant would choose SJB, (wife of...), or None of The Above. Part 2 is for choosing an alternative (which everyone does) in case None of The Above "wins" Part 1. Part 2 could be Borda. Something like that? --В²C 02:19, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
If this is "non-serious", then review WP:TITLECHANGES, and stop wasting other's time. I agree it is non-serious, that there is no actual problem with the current title, but I am happy to contribute to discussion if others genuinely believe there is a problem. If a major proponent for destabilising the status quo admits on the side that it is "non-serious", then the conclusion is: Please stop the Wikipedia:Disruptive editing. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:29, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Context, man. We're talking about a Wikipedia article title, not whether someone lives or dies, or even whether a tax should be raised. That's what I mean by "non-serious" - relative to serious real-world situations where Borda problems are more likely to matter, not relative to other WP issues. Now, if you are serious then please stop going off on ridiculous tangents and address the serious suggestion I made and asked you about. --В²C 16:58, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Strong oppose of Borda for anything. It is easily gamed, innocuous things produce serious artefacts, the simplistic algorithm has long since been improved upon, and algorithmic decision making is to be avoided. I suggest scoring suggestions, and discussing the results. For example, I might score "Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon Brown)" at 3/10; "Sarah Jane Brown" at 7/10; "Sarah Brown (born 1963)" at 7/10; "Sarah Brown (née Macaulay)" at 8/10. You can immediately infer that I will never support "Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon Brown)", it is very seriously not acceptable, and I am not sure that you understand that a Borda count could up-weigh that unacceptable choice if worse choices were included on the list of choices. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:59, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I understand that, I just don't believe enough people will game things for it to matter. But anyway, we don't have to go Borda. But what about my two part idea where the first part is about picking among SJB, wife of, or None of the Above? And Part 2 to decide the favorite among alternatives that are not in part 1 (if None of the Above wins Part 1)? --В²C 04:24, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
I don't like it. The "wife of" option is already rejected, and you are seeking to give it a preferred run. I would prefer to see all serious suggestions rated. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:10, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm not seeking to give it a preferred run. The whole point is to clearly establish that "neither" is preferred to SJB as well as to "wife of" so we can move on and focus on an alternative to both. My concern is that SJB is getting more apparent support than it deserves due to the strong rejection of "wife of" - that's why I want to add "none of the above to the mix". That said, I suppose rating all the choices might work out too. But how does the closer decide which one becomes the title? Just add them up and the one with the most preference points is it? I guess I'm good with that. And how do we decide which titles to put on the list? We should work that out now. There might be a list in the archives already. --В²C 20:18, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
The theory would seem to be Independence of irrelevant alternatives. The purpose of rating is to focus attention on the front runners, as a method of focusing discussion. My guessed front runners have not been commented on by the majority, I guess because there are too many alternatives. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:53, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Question for @JzG: I am trying to work out from above how many editors absolutely insist on "Jane"? The mechanism of binary choices here would seem to indicate, as Amakuru stated - almost a majority for (wife of Gordon Brown) and certainly a majority for anything but "Jane". How many editors in the above discussion insist on "Jane". I count 3 but I'm not familiar with all previous discussions. Would you or someone else mind doing a more informed count? In ictu oculi (talk) 22:35, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Looking at a discussion from 2014, 19 opposed "(wife of Gordon Brown)", six supports (excluding nominator). George Ho (talk) 23:27, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Out of all opposes, four proposed "(philanthropist)". One support said "(Anything)" sarcastically. However, majority says nay to "wife". George Ho (talk) 23:31, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
At what point did WP:ITABSOLUTELYMUSTBEPARENTEHSES become the Sixth Pillar? I have no interest in exploring the numerous failed proposals any further. Guy (Help!) 00:21, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
George Ho, so what? Have you looked at the history of Yogurt? For years in RM after RM there was no consensus. Yet the same proposal kept being made to move Yoghurt to Yogurt, and the same objections were made, primarily citing the failed previous history, just like here. RM after RM, year after year, until finally there was one in which the same proposal was strongly supported. What changed? Nothing, really. No new arguments. Just people paid better attention and the arguments favoring a change made repeatedly for years to no avail finally prevailed. And the result? Peace and quiet, not one peep about the title, for five years in a row now. Stop complaining about efforts to resolve this situation so it can get resolved, finally, like Yogurt finally did. --В²C 20:17, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
This is like yogurt in many ways, but unlike yogurt in that here there are not simply two leading choices. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:02, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

It's not yogurt[edit]

To address a point made above: yogurt is a misleading comparison. Nobody suggested that a stylistic preference for parenthetical naming meant we must name it "Yogurt (subservient to cheese)" or anything like that. The issue here is that Sarah Jane Brown is objectively the subject's name, whereas all the parenthetical suggestions require the subjective addition of a qualifier, which always seems to come with baggage, just to satisfy internal stylistic preference. The (wife) suggestion is the perfect exemplar. It is patronising, in the literal sense. It is comes across as "Sarah Brown (chattel of someone much more famous)". It is a horrible idea on many levels, but is supported by otherwise perfectly decent people because it's seen as the least-worst of the parenthetical choices, and presumably because they have not read Fattypuffs and Thinifers so can see parenthetical disambiguation as the only possible outcome. Guy (Help!) 11:54, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

  • The use of middle names for disambiguation has been discouraged for a long time. This is from 2005: "Adding middle names (or their abbreviations) for merely for disambiguation purposes: not advised.". [9] . Anyway, the point of the comparison to Yogurt was not with respect to the details of the two cases, but with respect to how strongly that change was resisted for so long, and how stability only resulted after the change was allowed. It's objectively her middle name, but there is no support for its use among reliable sources. We have no grounds to use it. Disagree all you want, but that fact - that reliable sources don't use it to refer to her - is going to mean the current title is going to remain problematic until it's changed, just like Yoghurt remained problematic (for an entirely different reason) until it was changed. That's how these situations are comparable. If you still don't see that, perhaps you will once this title is finally changed to be in compliance with our naming policy, guidelines and conventions, and it finally remains stable for years after that. Like Yogurt. --В²C 22:50, 18 February 2017 (UTC)